ECOWAS Gathers Troops in Countries Bordering Niger for Possible Intervention: Reports
© AP Photo / Richard Eshun NanareshChief of Defence Staff of various ECOWAS countries leave Burma Camp at the end of a two-day Extraordinary Meeting in Accra, Ghana, Friday, Aug. 18, 2023.
© AP Photo / Richard Eshun Nanaresh
On July 26, Niger's presidential guard deposed and detained President Mohamed Bazoum. The guard's commander, Gen. Abdourahmane Tchiani, proclaimed himself interim leader. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) agreed to activate a "standby force" as a last resort to restore democracy in Niger.
Members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) with no borders with Niger have agreed to move their troops into neighboring states in readiness for a possible military intervention, French broadcaster RFI has reported, citing sources.
At the moment, military chiefs of ECOWAS member states are managing troops relocation in the countries bordering Niger which have been selected as bases of the operation, the broadcaster said in a report published on Wednesday.
Moreover, most contingents have reportedly already established their command centers and are ready to take action without further meetings of high-ranking command officers.
ECOWAS' joint contingent will include troops from Benin, Nigeria, Senegal, Cote d'Ivoire and Guinea-Bissau, but possibly more countries, the broadcaster said. Ghana has made efforts to facilitate the joint preparations, it added.
On August 18, ECOWAS Commissioner for Political Affairs Abdel-Fatau Musah said that the block's general staff chiefs had agreed on the date of Niger invasion but would not make it public.
A coup took place in Niger on July 26. President Mohamed Bazoum was ousted and detained by his own guard, led by Gen. Abdourahamane Tchiani. Following the mutiny, ECOWAS suspended all financial aid to Niger, froze rebels' assets and imposed a ban on commercial flights to and from the country. In early August, during a summit in the Nigerian capital of Abuja, ECOWAS leaders agreed to activate a standby force to potentially compel the Nigerien military to reinstate Bazoum.